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Packing My Bags…

The time has come! I’m packing my bags and heading back to the mothership on Saturday – the U.S.A., baby! I can’t wait to be in both New York City and Los Angeles for 17 days. I’m working or at meetings for most of them, but that’s okay because I still have my evenings free to chill, meet friends, roam around with my camera, do a little flea market hoppin’ and hit some of my favorite stores. Like Purl Soho who just moved to a pretty posh space…

purl soho

It will be nice to watch the fireworks in NYC on the 4th and to celebrate my wedding anniversary in LA with my #1 man as he is flying over with me and we can spend a work-free weekend together before flying back to Germany. I have a mini must-see list for New York and LA, but I want to surprise Debi and take her to some great spots for eats and drinks and also for shopping so if you are in New York or LA and have some great suggestions for meals and shops, please let me know! Debi hasn’t been to LA yet and I really have no clue where to go there for dinner so any suggestions would be just lovely. Also, I’d love a great spot for a romantic dinner with my husband for one night. xo

purl soho

Now back to Purl Soho. I love this recent entry on their fabulous blog about Hawaiian prints and how totally modern they can look when done right. “Hawaiian quilts are one of those amazing traditional arts that look totally modern. They are usually made by folding a solid fabric from the center and cutting it the way you would cut a paper snowflake, but into a beautiful and wild looking tropical shape. Many of the traditional patterns look like pineapples, plumeria or palm fronds.” Check out these fab pillows and great how-to. Inspiring!

I can’t wait to fly over to the states — I’m sooo excited and a really big bonus is that I’ve booked some fantastic spaces for Decorate and so I can’t wait to meet the homeowners and see these beautiful properties up close and personal. This trip will definitely be a highlight for me someday when I look back on my life, I can’t believe how fortunate I am — I feel completely honored and a little bit nervous but excited still!

So… any NYC/LA tips for us? Oh, please! You guys are so well-connected, I’d love to know what you know! I’d love to know of some shops in NYC/Brooklyn that sell Japanese books/stationery, please tell me where to go for bubble tea, a great cupcake bakery, good restaurants & food carts in the city, cheap eats, flea markets to hit, semi-fancy eats, great parks, lovely flower shops, design-y shops that must be seen, stuff like that. I haven’t been to these cities for a few years (2008 for NY and 2005 for LA)… so I’m rusty!

(images: purl bee soho. psst: the lovely illustrated map is by wonderful lena corwin.)

Posted in travel on June 30, 2010

Work Spaces & Ergonomics

Man, going from a laptop to a desktop presents all sorts of chaos! I can’t find email on this computer because duh, it’s on the other one. And I can’t access this and that software because duh, I don’t have the license for it to pop it onto this machine too. I mean hello! This is a pain! Thing is, ever since my doctor gave me an ergonomic lecture I’ve been working on my posture, doing all sorts of pretzel-like poses on my floor mat, and working at a real desk vs. anywhere I can open my laptop and start beating on the keys. No, I must work at a proper desk with a proper chair and with my eyes 18-24″ from the screen. BUT IT IS HARD. SO HARD. I want to blog in all rooms, anytime, anywhere, legs folded, crossed, standing, sitting… And I can’t.

Workspace

I could not, would not, on the couch
I would not, could not, I may slouch
I would not type stuff on a stool.
I would not cos it just ain’t cool.
I would not blog stuff here or there
I would not blog just anywhere…

Funny thing about all of this is that I studied ergonomics as part of my job in Human Resources back in the day as I needed to schedule assessments for certain employees who I observed to be working in a way that would eventually transform them into slumped over groaning in pain employees. My job was to nip it before it grew into an issue. And now, years later, I’m the problem employee and my doctor is trying to change my evil blogging from anywhere ways. Go figure.

Workspace

Workspace

Workspace

As I moved furniture around in my living room until midnight last night trying to create a workspace, I thought about all of those that I’ve seen or featured on decor8 before that have inspired me and other workspaces that I’ve not shared before that rock my world. Perhaps you will like these spaces, and if you are blogging from your sofa, kitchen table, or on some pouffe or stool perhaps you will think it over and read up on ergonomics and consider ways in which you can work more properly. Ways that will make you feel better and even look better because good posture does a lot for a person, doesn’t it? Here is a good ergonomics guide to get your started.

Workspace

Workspace

A simple day set aside to access and organize your room can work magic. It did for me… now if only I could figure out how make my move from the laptop to desktop easier!

(images: house to home with permission by Claire Toms.)

Posted in workspace on June 28, 2010

Call For Home Submissions: Decorate Book!

Good morning and welcome to a new week on decor8! I had such a nice weekend, did you? I spent Saturday out and about, hitting a flea market (my loot), eating at an organic cafe outdoors, grabbing a cone of ice cream and wondering a bit aimlessly… And then yesterday chillin’ at a gorgeous beer garden on the edge of the forest near my house watching the FIFA games and couldn’t believe how many people showed up – over 1,000 at a beer garden! It was a fun time and the weather was gorgeous – and of course, because Germany won, the crowds were going crazy screaming and chanting ole, ole, ole, ole! It really feels fun to be a part of the soccer craze, it’s such a major event and so fun for me, as an American, to get into a sport that doesn’t have such a major following back home. I also don’t mind the whole beer garden setting while watching the games… that of course, makes the sport so much more enjoyable! How about you, what did you do?

Color Me Pretty: May

I have a busy week ahead of me since I leave on Saturday for New York and have lots to do to prep for that. It will be fun to spend the 4th in NYC and to hit some of my favorite parks, museums and shops for a few days until Debi meets up with me and we get to work! Part of my work for this week involves grabbing another space or two to shoot while we’re there since we have some more days added to our schedule. If you would like to have your home photographed by Debi Treloar (she shot the Emily Chalmers books and those for Mark & Sally Bailey, along with lots of other Ryland Peters & Small/CICO books) and if you’d like for it to appear in the Decorate book that I’m working on for Chronicle Books and Jacqui Small Publishing (it will be published in the USA and in the UK simultaneously, early next year), please email me with some pics ASAP (decor8blog{at}yahoo.com)! We are looking for homes that are inspiring, preferably in NYC or within an hour by train, and that have a personal, creative touch — homes with sweet details, interesting furniture, etc. — styles can range from eclectic to mid century, flea market, bohemian, ethnic, modern… We are trying to represent many styles in this book but they do need to be beautiful and book worthy!

We also could use 1-2 in Paris for later in July since we’ll be shooting there — and we need one more in Amsterdam. Also if you know of any locations in Germany – I’m open to ideas and submissions, especially in Berlin. We have already completed shoots in London, Denmark and Sweden so those are all set.

Not all submissions will be accepted, obviously, but all will be considered so please don’t be shy!

If used in the book, your home will be fully credited with your name and link to your website and of course, I will style the space and interview you as well so that we can grab some of your decorating advice!

I can’t wait to hear from you!

(image: leslie shewring)

Posted in Decorating Tips on June 28, 2010

Happy Weekend Friends!

I’m signing off for the weekend but I’d like to thank you first for visiting me here on decor8 this week and for your comments, tweets, retweets and general lovey dovey stuff that you extend to me — you are so kind! I hope that in turn, I am a generous friend to you as you have been to me. I’ll be in the states for most of July — first I fly to New York to stay in the city for July 4th weekend on holiday and then I’ll be on shoots the following week, taking the red eye to LA and then staying there until the 18th of July. Once I’m back at home in Germany, I’ll then be in Belgium, the Netherlands and finally France and then the photographs for the book project will be a wrap! And then I will officially crack under the pressure and have a nervous breakdown. Ha. No. Kidding. Then I will throw a very big party for my friends and my husband who has had to put up with my insane business hours and nearly empty fridge for weeks now. And popular to contrary belief, you don’t lose weight living on stress, sugar-free Red Bull and fruit salad. Darn.

Happy Weekend

I can’t believe all we’ve shot so far, between Scandinavia and London we have completed 12 homes so we’re nearly halfway and I’m so pleased with the work I’ve done so far. Meeting homeowners and being a part of creating a book is exciting. I’ve always wondered what goes into the creation of one as I own hundreds of them and write about decorating and craft books so often on decor8… so it’s fun to be behind-the-scenes and to be involved in styling these homes and directing the shoots, but also the process of finding the right homes that haven’t been published yet online has been a really taxing process. Of course, many of the homeowners have had their homes shot and shown elsewhere online and in books/magazines, but for the homes we are shooting, the angles and lighting and overall outcome is just different – and of course I style it in a way that I think makes the space shine without giving it that “you cannot touch” inaccessible look.

Happy Weekend

It’s moving to be able to use my creativity offline and to work with a team, but most importantly, to give photos a piece of my own vision and sensibility so that there is a connection between me and the finished product. I kind of felt for awhile like I was no longer a creative person because I wasn’t doing much with my hands. It bothered me. I sit for so many hours, online, writing articles + blog posts about beautiful homes but have truly missed having consultations and clients to work with more hands-on and this has opened up many ideas and doors for me.

To any of the homeowners reading, who I’ve already visited, thank you for letting me into your home to play with your beautiful things and thank you for being a part of this project. It’s a really fresh beginning for me in a direction that feels really good and I hope to move on and to more books despite how some say it’s a dying market. I don’t believe that to be the case, and though I may be a rainbow chaser, I still believe in the power of the typed page, hearing that crack as you first open a fresh title, the glossy photo, and the book in hand on a Sunday morning along with fresh coffee and a sweet roll. :)

Have a lovely weekend you gorgeous people, you! :) Please tell me what you will do, I have a lot of packing to get started on and million errands to run so I’d really enjoying living through you for a few days. Please, indulge me.

(images: tinker street via the wonderful victoria)

Posted in uncategorized on June 25, 2010

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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